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Avatar image for bigsocrates
Posted by BigSocrates (1961 posts) -

TL;DR: I think there's a very small gap between 7th and 8th gens on console and this will lead to a shortened generation followed by VR-focused consoles in a few years.

Like a lot of gamers I've been pretty unimpressed with the offerings of the 8th gen consoles. We're over 18 months into the cycle and it feels like all I got for my money was an incremental improvement over the last gen in graphics, and a pretty small improvement at that considering that Xbox 360 launched 8 years before the new crop.

It's not that there's nothing to play; I have had fun with MKX and a bunch of other stuff and I have plenty of stuff in my backlog. I also know The Witcher 3 and Arkham Knight are coming out soon and a lot of people are excited for those. My issue is more that it all feels so stale. Almost every big game these days is a sequel, and my favorite non-sequel of last year, Sunset Overdrive, just felt like another open-world game, this one focusing on traversal. I loved it, but it was just another clever cross between genres I'd played 100 times.

Looking back over console history I can't think of a single gen that wasn't wildly significant.

  1. First gen (pong type consoles) was...the first gen. These machines were rudimentary but they were the first.
  2. 2nd Gen (Atari, Coleco, Intellivision) First swappable cartridge systems. These are the first systems that really resemble what we think of when we think of game consoles. They were a huge leap over what came before. Some of these games are actually still fun.
  3. 3rd Gen (NES/Master System) The first truly representational graphics (as opposed to the abstractions on Atari) and the first real narrative games (There was finally enough memory for significant text.) There are lots of NES games that are still fun to play.
  4. 4th Gen (SNES/Genny) Arguably the least significant previous leap, but you can still instantly tell a SNES game from an NES game by looking at them. Allowed for a lot more diversity in mechanics and truly great stories and graphics. You couldn't really do fighting games on the third gen, for example.
  5. 5th Gen (Playstation/Saturn/N64) Transition to 3D. HUGE change, though this gen kind of sucks. For those who think that the games often look ugly in retrospect, you have to understand, they were also ugly at the time. People were excited by 3D but everybody knew most of these games were hideous. These were also the first consoles on optical media, meaning lots more audio and video, though there had been CD add-ons like Sega-CD previously.
  6. 6th Gen (Xbox/PS2/DC/GC) 3D done right. This was like the leap between 3rd and 4th gen in terms of graphics, and you have the beginnings of HD content and the beginnings of online console gaming (I know there were some attempts previously, but nothing as universal or well-remembered as Xbox Live and PS2 games like SoCom.)
  7. 7th Gen (XB360/PS4/Wii) HD gaming and a huge expansion of online. These consoles were the first to have all their games in HD and saw a huge expansion in online gaming. I realize the Wii is an exception here, but that's one of the reasons people said the Wii was like two Gamecubes taped together.
  8. 8th Gen. (PS4/Xbox One) ...slightly better looking HD? There's definitely an upgrade here, but it's closer to the jump between the Genesis and Sega-CD or 32X than a whole new generation. As for new gameplay horizons, well, Shadow of Mordor's Nemesis system apparently uses the additional RAM, and you can have more players at once in Battlefield than you could on the old consoles, but these are fairly small additions. We've yet to see anything even announced, other than Project Morpheus (which it seems like the PS4 is rather underpowered for) that looks like a game changer (pun intended.)

I realize I'm not saying anything truly revolutionary, but laid out like that it really makes me wonder why these consoles are such a small step forward when the generation before took 8 years and on paper, at least, the hardware is much more powerful. The PS4 has over 16 times as much RAM as the PS3, and a much more advanced chipset. With that huge leap in power we've gone from The Last of Us to...The Last of Us with a better frame rate and some improved lighting. Have we reached the point where art assets were already so expensive to build that they can't make them better even with more power? Doesn't seem that way, considering that we're not at 1080/60 yet, and PC games often look significantly better. Are programmers struggling to understand these new machines? Shouldn't be the case since they're basically just custom PCs, and even for people who program for consoles familiarity with the XBox360 PC-style architecture should make figuring out the PS4 and Xbox One relatively easy.

Maybe the boxes are just underpowered, but they were intended to last for another extended cycle, and from raw specs they do seem like a significant upgrade. Yet the only game that has truly felt "Next-gen" to me was Titanfall, which has a credible 360 version and relatively few players on the map simultaneously. This is the generation of the split-gen game (even though the boxes have sold better than the past generations) and the "big" Indie title, where small games get big pushes because of quality over graphics. There's nothing wrong with that, and I love that Shovel Knight and Thomas Was Alone are getting their due, but you know what? You don't need the power of the PS4 to play Thomas Was Alone. That game ran fine on the PS3. It would have run fine on the PS1 except for resolution. If the future of gaming was going to be these small titles I'd be cool with that, but we didn't need to buy new boxes.

I would love to see cool new experiences and flashy graphics on these machines, and I'm sure there will be great games for them (there already are great games) but I feel like this is going to be a relatively short generation, and the real next gen feeling will come with the VR boxes that will be released a few years from now. VR tech is improving by leaps and bounds and consumer units will be available soon, but these consoles don't have the required horsepower. I think that the 8th generation will be seen in retrospect as a kind of half-measure, a result of the 7th generation running too long but lacking the impact that will come with the 9th generation when Project Morpheus 2 and The Xbox Hololens change the way the mass market plays games.

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#1 Posted by AdequatelyPrepared (2522 posts) -

I imagine this is also why most people are feeling quite underwhelmed with the recent spate of remasters on new consoles. Remasters of PS2/Xbox/GC games felt justified, as most of those games did not feature widescreen support with their initial versions, as well as looking kind of mediocre on modern televisions. Furthermore, as they were the first gen to do 3D correctly, like you said (I know that PS1/N64 were 3D, but there were issues, such as PS1s infamous swimmy textures), they upscale quite well. For some games, the difference was huge, with Shadow of the Colossus for instance having a framerate that did not crap itself whenever a colossus was on the screen.

Whereas current remasters, like you said, we went from Last of Us at 30fps to Last of Us at 60fps with better lighting, and I would say that's probably one of the better remasters. Otherwise it's just, 900 to 1080p I guess? The PS4 version of FFX apparently has a busted RNG even.
There's also the fact that remasters of PS2 games on the PS3 did not come for a while, whereas the amount coming out already now seems to be a bit ridiculous.

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#2 Edited by fisk0 (6843 posts) -
@adequatelyprepared said:

There's also the fact that remasters of PS2 games on the PS3 did not come for a while, whereas the amount coming out already now seems to be a bit ridiculous.

Yeah, weren't the first PS2 remasters released around 2009-2010, nearly 4 years or halfway through the console cycle? This most recent generation launched with remasters, and at this point have more remasters than exclusives.

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#3 Edited by chaser324 (8642 posts) -

I'll be honest, I tune out as soon as people start numbering console generations.

That being said, I agree with your basic premise. This console generation is a much more subtle iteration than a lot of the previous releases of new consoles. A large part of that probably has to do with just how long the Xbox 360 and PS3 were around and how much iteration and progress was made within their lifetime. Just compare where gaming was in 2005 when the 360 launched to where things were in 2013 when then PS4/Xbox One launched - that's a massive amount of change to the gaming landscape, far more than anything seen in any other console cycle.

On the subject of VR, I'm still not convinced it's going to be anything more than a niche.

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#4 Posted by agentboolen (1995 posts) -

I felt similar but I think what you have to realise is the technology really hasn't changed much. Where just get more power. More ram, better video cards, for hard drive more space (even though you could have changed that on your own with the ps3).

Fact is the artist that use 3d software really can't do that much more, fine the models have more polygons then before but the fact is the details are very minor to the eye to see when in action.

On Xbox 360 they where bragging about sweat, what do you think they can brag about after sweat!? That's such a minor detail. At this point there kinda going after better hair and more physics, but these are things allot of players take for granted. That and of course 1080p @ hopefully 60fps, which we'll eventually go down to below 30fps when there really pushing the consoles, same thing happened last gen I think I remember hearing Full Auto was 1080p @ 60fps, but that was like ps2 graphics enhanced.

The fact is where just getting enhancements... And virtual reality, I'll believe it when I get my hands on it.

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#5 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

I mean this is probably objectively true but it still feels like I'm playing a PS2 game when I go play Max Payne 3 relative to whatever PS4 game I was playing.

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#6 Posted by mrfluke (6093 posts) -

we're still in the transitional phase, where we're finally cutting off cross gen games.

part of it too, is that there are firm structures being formed around game types now, so i imagine iterative games are going to be the norm for a while, and you know what, im personally cool with that.

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#7 Posted by Demoskinos (17457 posts) -

I dunno..I kinda think my PS4 is my favorite console I've ever owned. No individual part stands out but as a sum of all of its parts its in my mind at least the best console released.

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#8 Posted by toowalrus (13404 posts) -

I really hope I don't need to wear a headset in the future of gaming.

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#9 Posted by agentboolen (1995 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: I don't know what your talking about but I thought Max Payne 3 graphically look excellent. Lots of colors, lots of details, imo it was visually rich.

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#10 Posted by Justin258 (15589 posts) -

The faster and better technology gets, the less we'll really notice it.

The Witcher 3 probably couldn't have been made on the newer consoles. If you watch that stream that Vinny played, sure, that could have been done on older consoles, but have you seen Novigrad? Some of the stuff they've shown about that city? That couldn't have been done on newer consoles. All of the NPC's in the game (supposedly) have their own routines. Putting several thousand of those guys in a city as big as Novigrad wouldn't have been possible no matter how far back you scaled the graphics. Skyrim's cities are so noticeably smaller than you would think because of this.

The Nemesis system in Shadow of Mordor is another example of something that wouldn't work on the older consoles.

I think we're approaching a plateau for graphics, a point where they might be getting better, but in less noticeable ways and not at a rate where we'll ever be wowed by draw distance or shadow quality or animations again. That seems to be the principle in general - there will be changes and improvements, but not on a drastic scale, and not on a scale which you'll notice just by glancing.

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#11 Posted by extintor (1088 posts) -

I agree with the OP but think time will still tell for this gen. Think of the jump between something like Perfect Dark Zero to Halo 4.

Gameplay and visuals can improve massively over the course of a generation.


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#12 Edited by liquiddragon (3287 posts) -

@agentboolen: yeah, production value on max payne 3 is off the charts.

@bigsocrates: we're at that point where things have gotten good enough and making the same kinda leaps as before would be cost prohibitive. honestly though, you saw how, even last gen, focusing so much on the visuals caused gameplay to be simplified and waterdown in a lot of cases so if developers can focus on innovating mechanics rather then trying to make leaps graphically, i'd be more than glad these consoles aren't some giant technological jump.

also, can we at least let the generation play out before making such bold claims? no one thought ps3/360 would last that long. i mean sony/microsoft talked about a 10 year cycle but no one thought they'd come close to it and they squeezed quite a bit outta those console, which i still play regularly.

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#13 Edited by SkullPanda1 (1623 posts) -

Oh god, was PD zero really /that/ ugly?

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#14 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

@agentboolen: Yeah that's the point it looks nice by old standards, looks like shit compared to newer stuff. Aside from like Crysis 3 nothing really compares favorably.

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#15 Edited by Teddie (2110 posts) -

If you wanted a big jump in graphical quality right now, you'd be looking at more expensive consoles for the consumers that most developers couldn't afford to utilize fully anyway-- not without drastically raising the price of their games.

People complain about there being no games on the new consoles, the delays etc, but those would only get longer and more frequent if you were asking them to make everything look even better as well.

And no graphical prowess will ever make those Bioware animations look good.

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#16 Posted by Zeik (5185 posts) -

We've reached a point where pure graphic fidelty that is no longer the driving factor of new hardware. Games can always look better, but until some new leap in technology comes along we've reached a relative peak. The things that are going to separate this gen from the last are going to be more subtle, but still meaningful.

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#17 Posted by agentboolen (1995 posts) -

@fredchuckdave: so far I don't agree with you at all. You compare Max Payne 3 vs the recent infamous game and I personally don't feel like Max is that far behind. I know the new systems are going to blow us away eventually but imo we haven't seen anything from them yet.

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#18 Edited by csl316 (14946 posts) -

I remember initially being disappointed by the move from PS2 to PS3, in the days of cross-gen versions of Gun. Then things got really good.

These new systems seem to be about refinement, and games like Infamous, Sunset Overdrive, The Order, and MGS V just look great (but not mind-blowing). But you know what? At this point visuals aren't the priority anymore, A big part of that is indie games becoming prominent, plus everything looks pretty alright for the most part.

Seeing a better version of Battlefield on PC was the first time I was kind of bummed. It made the new consoles seem vulnerable. But once the 720p vs. 1080p internet wars started happening, in which you had to zoom in to see a difference, I realized we're at the point where we're getting nitpicky. And I have no problem with 30fps, so maybe the new generation doesn't bother me as much because of it.

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#19 Posted by FinalDasa (3170 posts) -

Some of your points lead more into how I think the hardware was designed. Neither console was pushed forward as a graphics showcase. If you go watch some of the early Xbox One stuff they really wanted everyone to be online and use cloud computing to add processes to the games. They invested in horsepower rather than graphics. And really graphics aren't getting leaps and bounds better so until we're really seeing a major difference between what an average PC experience is and the console experience that really doesn't matter.

Implying VR is the next thing is a bit of a stretch. Not only do we not know for sure if VR completely works, we don't know if it works in the market. Will people want to put on these helmets, will their hardware demands be too much for the average video game consumer, will their price be too much for those curious to try it, how do you convince someone who has never heard of current VR it works?

I wouldn't be surprised if this generation ended at the 6 or 7 year mark but I'm willing to bet Sony and Microsoft both were aiming at 10 years. The last cycle lasted longer than expected and neither company is looking forward to investing millions to develop something new.

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#20 Edited by Kumatose (51 posts) -

@believer258 said:

I think we're approaching a plateau for graphics, a point where they might be getting better, but in less noticeable ways and not at a rate where we'll ever be wowed by draw distance or shadow quality or animations again. That seems to be the principle in general - there will be changes and improvements, but not on a drastic scale, and not on a scale which you'll notice just by glancing.

Yes, and I think this is a good thing, because it hopefully means that developers will focus less on cutting-edge graphics and verisimilitude (as they become taken for granted) and more on creative art styles. Plus they could devote more time and resources to improving the non-visual components of their games.

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#21 Posted by kasaioni (2397 posts) -

I always thought it was telling that MGSV is coming out on last gen consoles as well. I'm sure games like the Witcher 3 could not run as well on older consoles. And I hear that Shadow of Mordor has some features dumbed down for the last gen versions. But this generation so far has felt lackluster at best for me personally. So it's the first wave of consoles where I decided to go the PC route instead. Unfortunately, I'm really not all that interested in virtual reality (although I've never actually tried it before, maybe it's cool). I still just want to use and controller and look at a screen. And virtual reality seems to me now to be the new motion-controls gimmick. I bet we won't get any high-budget virtual reality exclusive games for a while even after the headsets come out.

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#22 Posted by viking_funeral (2881 posts) -

Well, in terms of graphics, those take time. Remember that Oblivion and Skyrim came out on the same consoles.

The real problem right now is one of innovation. There are still some medium sized teams coming up with new interesting game ideas, but once they have those ideas, they tend to iterate on them. (i.e. Batman: Arkham Asylum, Demon's Souls.) Which is great, because I love those games and would like to play more games like them, but they're medium game changers, and so far one hasn't come out this gen.

The other source of innovation these days is indie devs and the modding scenes, which is where the two fastest growing styles of games—Minecraft Survival-likes & MOBAs—have come from. So far those genres haven't had their 'Halo' console crossover that made them viable in the console market.

So what we're left with is rehash of old ideas, rehash of last gen ideas, and a whole bunch of remasters. Oh, and I guess some iteration.

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#23 Posted by Levius (1358 posts) -

The big issue with this generation is how creatively stagnent it is. Look at this year, we are all waiting for Halo, the Witcher, Batman, MGS, Fallout, Tomb Raider, Battlefront, Rock Band, Zelda, Uncharted and the rest. I will likely play and love some of these games; but come fucking on. Is this it? Is this where we are at now, spinning the same wheels over and over? Where are our Mass Effects? Our Modern Warfares? Our Gears of War? Our Rock Bands? Something has to give, as this current stagnancy is unsustainable.

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#24 Edited by Jeust (11739 posts) -

@Levius said:

The big issue with this generation is how creatively stagnent it is. Look at this year, we are all waiting for Halo, the Witcher, Batman, MGS, Fallout, Tomb Raider, Battlefront, Rock Band, Zelda, Uncharted and the rest. I will likely play and love some of these games; but come fucking on. Is this it? Is this where we are at now, spinning the same wheels over and over? Where are our Mass Effects? Our Modern Warfares? Our Gears of War? Our Rock Bands? Something has to give, as this current stagnancy is unsustainable.

Actually it is probably sustainable for this generation, but probably won't be able to sustain another.

And we've reached a state in the technology, where innovating or even maintaining the standards we've reached in the quality of the games is incredibly expensive, and changes to the games are mostly incremental. Graphics look a little more crispier, the textures are a bit more detailed, worlds are a bit bigger. With few major innovations, like the Nemesis system in Shadows of Mordor.

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#25 Edited by Shindig (4835 posts) -

Bear in mind we're all still feeling the effects of recession which will probably last for another decade or more. That said, you can't imagine something like Playstation Now on the previous gen. Games are probably as good as they're going to look fidelity wise but you can still push for scale or artificial intelligence.

If 4K takes hold, we are screwed, though.

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#26 Posted by Zeik (5185 posts) -

@kumatose said:
@believer258 said:

I think we're approaching a plateau for graphics, a point where they might be getting better, but in less noticeable ways and not at a rate where we'll ever be wowed by draw distance or shadow quality or animations again. That seems to be the principle in general - there will be changes and improvements, but not on a drastic scale, and not on a scale which you'll notice just by glancing.

Yes, and I think this is a good thing, because it hopefully means that developers will focus less on cutting-edge graphics and verisimilitude (as they become taken for granted) and more on creative art styles. Plus they could devote more time and resources to improving the non-visual components of their games.

Yeah, with the extreme cost prohibitiveness of current gen development I'm kinda okay with the technology side plateauing for a bit. Games look pretty great already, and if we can cut the costs of making games look this great so more developers can make games look this great without risking going bankrupt and current developers are less risk averse then that will be much better for gaming then some more polygons on screen.

There's a kind of weird dichotomy going on in the gaming world where people are kind of upset that games aren't pushing graphics to an extreme (just look at the hubbub over The Witcher 3) while simultaneously being upset that developers are too risk averse and are playing it safe with sequels and ports. Most developers can't afford to have it both ways.

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#27 Posted by BlueFalcon (255 posts) -

I just don't think you know what really goes into modern games anymore TC. At a certain point graphics and sound are going to hit a point of diminishing returns and things like AI, game world sizes, Max characters, VR, etc are he new revolutions. That is what the current gen consoles (except WiiU) are for.

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#28 Edited by Rebel_Scum (1439 posts) -

VR will never really take off because

A) There's always gonna be a good proportion of the market that will be "seasick" from playing it

B) Its really bad for your eyes, after some time of it being on the market this will be further realised. This will be some years/decades after the fact.

As for the gen leap, I don't really know how much of a leap it is. I don't really care or spend too much time looking into graphics, frames per second. I think for developers having more memory to use and abuse, I think they're the ones getting the most benefit out of it.

With remasters, I don't mind. I think there's a market there for people in my position who had a Xbox 360 last gen but will get a PS4 this gen and want to play those tasty PS3 exclusives they missed out on. TLoU, Uncharted and Journey, you're all on my list!

Regarding the OP's perception of a lack of a leap. Too early to tell. Give the dev's a game or two under their belt to figure out how to use the hardware better. I think they've only just scratched the surface so far.

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#29 Edited by BlueFalcon (255 posts) -

@rebel_scum: That's not true at all. as long as the headset is >= 90 hz most people are fine. 2 years ago at PAX I noticed a few people (approx 15% roughly)in the Oculus line on DK1s feeling a little disoriented. Last year on DK2s everyone seemed fine hat I saw. Hell, I even bought a DK2 last year and have been nothing but happy with it and I still have 20/13 vision. I'd imaging if you had defective eyes and already need glasses or contact lenses it may not be helping unless you take the time to adjust the detailed lens caps and software visual options.

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#30 Posted by Shindig (4835 posts) -

I just wonder how much of the general public will buy into another peripheral for anything other than short-term shits and giggles. Bundle it with a cute sports mini-game package, however...

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#31 Posted by ll_Exile_ll (3013 posts) -

In terms of power this generation is actually a pretty huge leap over the previous one, it's just that we're really starting to get to the point of diminishing returns where it takes a lot more horsepower to see even minor noticeable improvements in visuals.

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#32 Posted by theveej (944 posts) -

For me the comparison should be early 360/ps3 to early ps4/xboxone. If you look at it like that the graphical jump it is kind of ridiculous. Seeing a bit of game development this gen, the biggest change is that since the old generation went on far too long, everyone got too used to cadence and iteration they had before. Say if a game cost X amount to make during end of 360/ps3 era it probably cost 2X-3X more now because of all the additional cost you have for art assets (for examples charecter models have so much more detail in most games now, its just one of those things that you don't really notice unless you can zoom in and see the skin features cause most games are played from a perspective that is pretty zoomed out) and the lack of best practices and optimization that game developer created over a 8 year console cycle. Hence why we got all the delays last few years, it's freaking rough making AAA games now days.

Games will start looking crazy good sooner than later, but because of various reason listed (most of which have already been mentioned) it will take longer than last gen did. Plus the biggest jump for me is in the console\ infrastructure and its online capabilities that can be hugely expanded with software, where last gen those infrastructures were not in place and were kind of forced in via software.

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#33 Posted by Getz (3764 posts) -

I have some beef with your assertion that 1080/60 should be easy. Go ask John Carmack how much blood, sweat and tears went in to locking Rage down at 60 FPS. It takes much more than simple horsepower; it takes manpower. Lots of talented people working many hours to solve complicated technical issues. That costs a lot of money, for what publishers deem ultimately an unnecessary feature to sell the game to general audiences. That's the issue at hand here; there's not enough time and money to go around for making these super-duper awesome looking games for the next generation.

The dusk of big budget games rapidly approaches, leaving all but those with the blandest, widest appeal. It's not something you can change, and its certainly not the end of the world. Shit's just changing.

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#34 Edited by ShaggE (9215 posts) -

I'm fine with it being a small jump graphically. That will likely be the case from now on anyway. I've had plenty of "stop in place and look at how pretty everything is" moments on current gen. In another year or two we'll be digging into the meat of what these consoles can actually do, and we won't see their full potential until there's talk of the PS5 and Clever Next Xbox Name showing up at E3.

If anything, I'd say that all we're doing is reaching a more sane pace in iteration. It's absolutely absurd how fast we went from bopping a square back and forth to where we're at now. It's like jumping from Edison's earliest film footage to Avatar within 40 years.

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#35 Posted by babblerock (47 posts) -

sweeping declarative statement said every generation

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#36 Posted by Oldirtybearon (5626 posts) -
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I don't know about you guys, but I can't tell the difference between these screenshots. Are they from the same game?

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#37 Posted by Veektarius (6407 posts) -

We're nearing the point at which the artistic vision of a game is fully realized. I think that once we have a reasonable solution for in-game hair, that'll basically be the end game for graphics. At that point all of the room to grow is sort of behind the scenes, like AI.

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#38 Posted by CrazyBagMan (1629 posts) -

I feel like that's not exactly surprising.

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#39 Posted by Zeik (5185 posts) -

We're nearing the point at which the artistic vision of a game is fully realized. I think that once we have a reasonable solution for in-game hair, that'll basically be the end game for graphics. At that point all of the room to grow is sort of behind the scenes, like AI.

I'd say believable animations still have a ways to go, especially for non-facial animation, but I think that issue is more than just hardware related.

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#40 Edited by XChairmanDrekX (434 posts) -

@getz said:

I have some beef with your assertion that 1080/60 should be easy. Go ask John Carmack how much blood, sweat and tears went in to locking Rage down at 60 FPS. It takes much more than simple horsepower; it takes manpower. Lots of talented people working many hours to solve complicated technical issues. That costs a lot of money, for what publishers deem ultimately an unnecessary feature to sell the game to general audiences. That's the issue at hand here; there's not enough time and money to go around for making these super-duper awesome looking games for the next generation.

The dusk of big budget games rapidly approaches, leaving all but those with the blandest, widest appeal. It's not something you can change, and its certainly not the end of the world. Shit's just changing.

It should be easy but the very limited specs of this current generation of consoles makes working within those limitations while maintaining high resolution and framerate very challenging. They need to figure out where and how as well as if to cut down on graphical fidelity and/or other features to achieve that goal.

When working with a properly speced PC it's far, far easier by comparison to reach 1080/60 or even higher resolution and framerates. Hell even the rushiest port jobs to PC like the new Assassin's Creed can easily reach 1080/60 on a good PC.

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#41 Posted by Zella (1275 posts) -

I would argue there is just as big of a jump, it is just not as immediately noticeable than before. In generation leaps such as SNES to N64 or PS2 to PS3 there was major milestones hit, 3D games that didn't look like utter crap and HD resolutions. There is not that same kind of difference maker this gen so the gap has to be measured in other ways. The lighting systems in place in next gen games is far more impressive than in the previous generation. Unity may have a lot of technical issues but its lighting is gorgeous, cloud coverage doesn't just darken the area but change the warmth of the light. Particle effects are way more advanced now as well, they aren't just canned animations but many are dynamic effects that can have physics with the rest of the environment. Aliasing is also been cut down on quite a bit this generation and the amount of objects on screen has increased massively.

We are at the point where increases in graphics are not going to be what makes the game shinier or cooler but way makes the game feel more alive. In realistic games that could be lighting and advanced physics adding a sense of realism; or, in more artistic games it can be adding more effects around characters or events. I think a decent comparison for this is to play GTA IV on PS3 then go play GTA V on PS4, IV was praised for having such a strong sense of a living city when it released but it feels hollow and artificial compared to Los Santos in V.

I would also blame the rise of PC gaming in the general gaming community for this generation seeming less impressive. Many of the launch games for XB1 and PS4 were essentially just PC games running on High/Max settings and people are used to seeing that kind of footage from PC games for a while now. Back when there was the jumps to PS1 or Xbox 360 there was more of a divide between console gamers and PC gamers.

It irks me whenever I see people complain about how the current generation of consoles "can't even do 1080/60". It isn't like there is some meter where as consoles get stronger they can handle a higher frame rate and resolution, like that the PS5 should be able to do 4K/120 or something. As the graphical features such as stronger anti aliasing, V-Sync, more advanced lighting, etc. all get better they make it harder to achieve 1080/60. Yeah the PS4 and XB1 could both easily play games in 1080p and 60 fps but then they would probably look like PS3 and 360 games.

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#42 Posted by Dragon_Puncher (619 posts) -

Every generation with truly big leap in graphics (like 2D to 3D) has been followed by a generation which further improved and perfected the previous leap, instead of making a new leap.

It happend with the SNES and PS2 era and is now happening with the PS4/Xbox One. We are still in the HD era of consoles, and what we are getting is better HD graphics and further improvements to the online gaming experience (like Shareplay and Playstation Now to an extend) and not something revolutionary. Considering that both Xbox One and especially PS4 are selling super well, I don't think this generation is going to have any problems.

If VR is the next big leap for gaming, I don't expect the marked, the technology or the game design to be ready for that before the next consoles are going to land somewhere around 2019-2020, anyways.

300$ peripherals aren't going to take the mass marked with storm.

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#43 Edited by jay_ray (1569 posts) -

The major difference between the PS4/XB1 and the PS3/360 is the accessibility. Not the accessibility to play games but to make them, the systems are easier then ever to get a game on the systems, as well as the tools are now easy to use and more importantly cheap.

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#44 Posted by twitterlegend (62 posts) -

You say that but we're still on an early end of the spectrum in terms of these consoles lives. Early gamecube games still just looked like slightly better N64 games.

I think we should be more concerned with how little video game concepts and mechanics have evolved

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#45 Posted by ClairvoyantVibrations (1616 posts) -

I don't think that the jump this generation will be graphics. Of course we have more horsepower so we can see better shaders, higher poly models, high resolution textures, etc. All that stuff is well and good and I want games to look as good at they can and they'll look better and better as the generation goes on I just think it will be more incremental. We wont have the Perfect Dark Zero - Halo 4 jump, to use an example from the thread. I think where we'll see a huge jump over the generation is in mechanics and AI. An early example being Shadow of Mordor. Sure the story isn't too great and it's Batman combat but the nemesis system is really, really cool. Just imagine if someone took something like that and made it so you never saw the same guy twice, made the tree larger, improved the AI of the nemeses so you could encounter them any time, any where just going about their daily business instead of randomly popping missions on the map. That's the kind of stuff I want to see this generation.

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#46 Posted by senrat (359 posts) -

Absolutely true. Graphical advancement has slowed. I hope that they use the extra power for non graphical features like the nemesis system from shadow of mordor. Fantastic graphics have their place, but due to diminishing returns, I want to see more complicated gameplay systems instead.

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#47 Edited by FlashFlood_29 (4396 posts) -

@twitterlegend said:

I think we should be more concerned with how little video game concepts and mechanics have evolved

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#48 Posted by Fredchuckdave (10824 posts) -

I think people are really underselling the PS4's secondary function as a space heater.

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#49 Edited by babblerock (47 posts) -

If you're not detail oriented you're not going to notice the difference between 1024 textures and 2048 textures. What's funny is from an exponential standpoint its leaps larger than the jump from Atari to NES to SNES to Playstation etc. At a certain point games look good enough in the broad strokes to convey its intent. Its all detail now. People dont talk about how impressive special effects are either because its become such an expected thing, but the visual effects crew now is several hundred times larger than it was back when Jurassic Park 1 came out. Graphical advancement hasn't "slowed", its advanced to the point of small detail. The grass blows in the wind now, it used to be an image on a plane and now each blade blows in the wind. You not noticing the advances doesn't mean they're not happening. Be more perceptive.

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#50 Posted by stinger061 (467 posts) -

The advances being made now are simply less immediately visible than they have been in the past. Things like rendering individual enemies and large numbers of NPC's are easily overlooked but if a game simply re-used the same 3-4 character models as in older games they would be criticised for it.

The changes we are seeing are very much iterative but they are there. The Nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor had to be stripped out of the last-gen version but is often overlooked as a triumph for the new platforms.